Fair use charter for the EPO's online patent information products
What we offer
Free patent information services
- Espacenet, the European Patent Register, the European Publication Server, EP full-text search, EP Bulletin search and Open Patent Services (OPS, up to a weekly maximum of 4 GB) are available free of charge 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Regular maintenance outages are scheduled for between 05.00 and 05.30 hrs CET, Monday to Sunday. Information about additional outages in Espacenet is published in the Maintenance news section.
- Information about scheduled maintenance outages for the European Patent Register is published in the Maintenance news section.
- Information about scheduled maintenance outages for OPS is published in the "Announcements" section of the OPS forum.
- Access to and use of OPS is governed by the OPS terms and conditions.
- Access to and use of the other free patent information services is governed by our Terms and conditions of use for the website of the European Patent Office.
What we ask
The graphical user interfaces of Espacenet, the European Patent Register, the European Publication Server, EP full-text search and EP Bulletin search are for human users only. They are not intended for bulk data retrieval.
Please note the following for Espacenet and the European Patent Register:
- The threshold for individual users (IP addresses) is 10 search-related actions per minute.
- Automated searches (robots) are not supported and may result in access being denied. For automated queries please use the corresponding REST interfaces.
- Human users encountering problems due to the service's robot-detection feature should contact the EPO using the "Contact" links in the relevant applications.
For automated queries, such as automated data retrieval (by robots) or access via third-party portals, please use the REST interfaces of the European Publication Server and Open Patent Services (OPS).
Please note the following:
- If you need extremely large sets of data, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer a range of options to meet your bulk data needs.
- To use the REST API of the European Publication Server, the download limit for a given IP address is 5 GB in any sliding window of 7 days.
- For both the European Publication Server and OPS, the maximum traffic volume allowed is approximately 1 Mbit per second. The maximum data volume, connection rates and other access conditions may vary depending on operational circumstances.
- We recommend scheduling data retrieval activities by robots between 19.00 and 07.00 hrs GMT or at weekends.
- To use OPS (whether for simple testing or for more substantial access), you will need to register and accept the relevant terms and conditions. See the OPS page for further information and registration.
- Downloading data via OPS is free of charge up to a maximum data volume of 4 GB per week ("free threshold"). A week is a calendar week from Monday, 00.00 hrs to Sunday, 24.00 hrs GMT. For data volume in excess of the free threshold weekly limit, a flat rate (yearly subscription) applies. See the brochure EPO Patent Information - Price list for further details.